I'm Devoted to the Journey of My Heart

Vincent Van Patten

We have one opportunity in life to chase our dream. I’m taking mine.


Photo by Mark Autumns on Unsplash

Letting people down used to scare me. I was afraid to disappoint others because I believed I didn’t give them all I had — I felt like a fake.

To be inauthentic is to live to please others. Genuine sincerity comes from listening to our hearts over anyone else.

I’m done lying to myself.

I recently left my job working with my best friend to follow my passion: writing.

Why I Write

Writing inspires me to wake up every day. The simple craft helps me make sense of this world and my place in it. Writing sheds the extra weight from my mind and allows me to explore what we don’t see, but feel.

I’m inspired to create something innately human. The act of expression through a medium that transcends time and history gives life meaning.

Writing provides a high.

Each Experience is a Gift

For the last two years, I worked as a residential real estate agent in my hometown of Los Angeles. My best friend and I partnered up to work under his father and his team: one of the most well-respected and prolific in Los Angeles.

Like anything worth going after, it was a daily grind, albeit an enlivening one. I counted my blessings every morning; to be able to work with my best friend was a gift.

We were building the foundation of a long-term career; we pushed one another to succeed.

I will always cherish those memories — touring multi-million dollar homes in the Hollywood Hills or beachfront mansions in Malibu — often, all we would do was look at one another with a smile that said, this is surreal.

We’re Human

Through the highs and the lows, we always preserved our joy. Each day was a hands-on learning opportunity to acquire more than just invaluable business skills — I gained an eye-opening understanding of people.

When shit hits the fan, we show our true colors. I learned how to deal with my own emotions when an outcome was out of my hands.
We can’t determine the emotions of others — all we can do is observe. It’s our decision how we react.


I wrote on the side throughout my career in real estate. I would journal and write stories about traveling, what I enjoy more than anything.

The more I wrote, the more I felt the need to write — writing became a window into my own heart I once didn’t know how to look through; I found my voice.

That voice was always there. When I was young, I fostered a fantastically curious spirit. Still, that quintessential aspect of me kept in the shadows. I had a story to tell, yet, I surrendered to the noise surrounding me.

It isn’t always a voice — this innate inner being will tell us when we’re on the right track. We trust we’re doing the right thing when we feel joy and boundless energy, just being alive. I find when I travel, my engine doesn’t stop.

Personally, when I felt chills rush through my body, I could tell something was off. I wasn’t physically sick, though, my heart was unclear.

It wanted to scream and say, I am somebody.

Yet, I wondered: is it wrong to leave a career that I’ve been working hard towards for two years? How can I let my best friend down?

“Self-doubt can be an ally,” Steven Pressfield writes in The War of Art. “It serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire to do it.
If you find yourself asking, ‘am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Two Lives

I felt as though I was neither fully committed to real estate, nor writing. The voice within me became so loud I couldn’t face it anymore — my soul was telling me; be courageous.

The fear of failure makes us human. I’d rather fail, knowing I gave my soul a voice, than succeed in the eyes of others.

The rules of society are subconsciously placed all around us. We see successful people and want what they have, and we believe that is what equates to happiness.

However, it isn’t the norms of society that make us human — it’s the questioning of why the world is the way it is. We must ask ourselves, how does my soul connect to what I’m doing?

The Truth

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the protagonist Winston Smith seeks truth in a society devoid of the idea. Orwell writes:

“Being in a minority, even a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth, and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

When we dig deep and strive more than anything to create or do whatever we are genuinely passionate about — we are seeking the truth. Society determines the appearance of success. We believe if we attain these material things, we too will be happy.

We do this to achieve some semblance of success in the eyes of others. In doing so, we push our inner voice deeper within us, believing it will eventually stop whispering the truth into our ear. But the more we fight, the louder the noise becomes.


Every one of us is born with incredible talent, creativity, and passion.

It takes quiet and solitude to bring that fire to the forefront of our lives. It takes stepping away to understand who we are honestly. Pressfield writes:

“When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own. Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others.

The Unknown

I decided to leave real estate to jump into the void of uncertainty. I will cherish the years I spent as a young man working with my best friend.

I’m twenty-four years old. In another twenty years, I know I will look back at this stage of my life with a big smile; I’ll remember the times when I cried to my mom because I was so damn confused about my life; when I felt torn apart and utterly overwhelmed.

I look back even now and laugh. Every experience is an opportunity to become a higher version of who we are. No trial we live through comes to naught.

My spirit longs to see the earth.
I feel like there’s a part of me out there which I haven’t yet tapped into, a more intense sense of self that shines when we step away from what we know.

I know I have to be on my own to navigate this beautiful planet and make my mistakes; to be lost is to find our way.


I’ve been comfortable my whole life. Each step of the journey has culminated into who I am today — I’m forever grateful.

I plan to move to Japan as soon as I can to teach English. I’m going to pursue writing with everything I have.

When I visited Japan last year, I fell in love with the country. There’s an appreciation for the natural unfolding of life. Each season represents beauty in a subtly different way.

Nature’s imperfection reflects who we are as people. We are imperfect creatures who change and grow throughout our lives, yet each experience contains profound beauty.


The Japanese take time to stop and reflect, a practice we could all incorporate into our lives. Winter is a season of rebuilding, of rest, of stillness.

In spring, the earth is reborn and shows its clear spirit through the ephemeral cherry blossoms. The pink flowers are a symbol of wonder that comes and goes with the wind, as fleeting as the moment to chase our dream.

Life is a beautiful struggle, where each season encourages us, whether good or bad, to fight for who we are.

It’s time to live my life.

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My name is Vincent Van Patten. This is my home, a place to share who I am and what lights my soul on fire. I’m a writer, media creator, and co-host of The Dare to Dream Podcast. Most importantly, I’m an inspired citizen of our ever-changing world. I strive to learn all that I can about how we’ve progressed to where we are today as individual cultures and as a planet. It’s my passion to fill every day with exploration and creativity no matter where I am, whether in California crafting my latest project or on my way to discover someplace new. By writing about my experiences, connecting with people and the earth, and remaining present, I always feel at home. I write to express my perspective of daily living, from the thoughts in my head to the relationships we share as human beings. I write about travel, culture, books, life, philosophy, spirituality, health, self-improvement, and history. I also write poetry and short stories  —  doing so soothes the soul. I believe we’re here to challenge ourselves by questioning all we think we know. When we do, we open our minds to a way of living we could never have imagined. This life is a journey with no finish line in sight. I hope to leave a positive impact with every step I take.

Del Mar, CA

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